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Education for Democracy and Human Rights ‐ European Experience in a Global Context

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During the last years, education for human rights and democracy has become a more and more growing issue not only in many countries but also for many intergovernmental organizations. The Council of Europe (CoE) has been working in this field for a very long time. It has achieved important results and has become one of the leading agencies in Europe and beyond. After a short introduction into the CoE in general and its work as a “human rights’ watchdog” and a “guardian for democracy and the rule of law”, the contribution will be structured around the CoE’s flagship initiative “Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (EDC/HRE)”. It will give an overview of its aims, main elements, and outcomes. Among them a special focus will be laid on the wealth of materials produced and the political framework, in particular the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democracy and Human Rights Education as well as on the project: “Explore and Act for Human Rights: Learning Human Rights through Landmark Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights”. In its second part the contribution describes the partnerships and networks established and strengthened and how this work is in manifold ways inter-connected and embedded also on international level, in particular with international organizations. Although the experiences described here have their origin in Europe they are by no means restricted to this continent. The hope is that they will provide a useful basis for cooperation and food for thought also for a wider audience in other parts of the world.
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Keywords: Council of Europe; Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights; European Convention on Human Rights; European Court of Human Rights

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Political Crossroads is a bi-annual, international, refereed journal which, since 1990, publishes critical and empirical scholarship in political science and international relations. Its areas of focus include global security, terrorism, national identity, migration and citizenship, and the politics of resources and trade.
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